The entrance to 'the Brewery', as it was known,
was under the archway of Lizzie Hanlon's house in Bridewell Lane and
is shown on sketch above. Brewery Lane comprises eighteen 2
bedroomed houses, nine on each side.
Outside these whitewashed houses, which had
half-doors, was a granite stone, upon which the people sat to chat,
or to play music and sing.
The lane was lit by a single light, which was
outside Geoghegan's house, and along the centre of the lane ran a
channel which operated out into the river Burrin. A ten foot wall
blocked off the river at the end of Brewery Lane.
No. 1: Jack and Pol Trodden lived in the first
house. Jack was a butcher with the long established Carlow firm -
Olivers. Jack and Pol reared Tom, Molly, Maggie (Scully) and Winnie.
Ned, Molly and Jim emigrated to America while Ned and Winnie went to
No. 2: Dick and Winnie Grant lived here. Dick
worked for many years in the Sugar Factory and they had two sons,
Sapper who married Cis Hayden from Graigue and Mick who worked for
years in Barrow Milling.
No. 3: Paddy Maher who worked in Bergins Bar in
Dublin Street was next. Two daughters and one son John. Maureen
married Eddie Williamson from Bridewell Lane and Kitty married
No. 4: Mick Fitzgerald and Nan Timmons from
Barrack Street with their family lived here. Mick, a famous basket
weaver, could turn his hand to make any type of basket, chair, table
or creel and was renowned throughout Carlow. Lil married Jackie
Geoghegan from Bridewell Lane another of the O'Hanrahan 'greats'.
Nan, Liz and Mayue three more daughters with Neddy married Poll
No. 5: Next was William Geoghegan who married
Bridget Hayden from Graiguecullen, they lived here with their 13
children. William was a pensioner from the army. He loved to fish
and is credited with the catch of a 37 Ib. Pike, caught down at
'Moll Whelan's Hole' on the Barrow. Jim regularly sat outside the
house playing his flute and his sessions with 'Decker' Dwyer were a
joy to all who had the privilege to hear. May married to John
O'Brien is the remaining child.
No. 6: Jim Tobin from Green Lane and Molly
Farrell from Bridewell Lane were next. Jim worked in the Sugar
Factory. Sadie is married to N. Lennon of Oak Park, Molly is married
in Castledermot. Jim married in Enniscorthy. Paddy is living in St.
No. 7: Here we have Mary (Cis) Corcoran who
married Charlie Russell. A sergeant in the British Army, Charlie
unfortunately had both legs amputated after injuries sustained
during the First World War. They had three children. Molly married
Jim Mulhall and lives in St. Marys Park. Nan married Paddy Ledwidge
from Little Barrack St. Charlie is married in England.
No. 8: Tom Carey from Bridewell Lane married
Maureen Feeny, Castledermot. Tom served throughout Europe with the
British Army. It was in Trieste in Italy that Tom heard the shout
"Hey Tom Carey from Carlow" turned to see Jim Young of Potato Market
who had just arrived with his regiment. Now lives in J.K.L Avenue.
Their Children, Tom, Rickey married Martina Walsh, Caroline married
Paddy Brennan. Patricia married Paddy Carr, Jean married Liam Nolan,
Fiona, single, works in Braun, Michael, who spent some time in the
Irish Army is married to Bernie Roycroft.
- Tom Carey on duty in a P.O.W. Camp in Italy during World
No. 9: Living nearest to the River Burrin was 'Hallie'
Tom Mulhall, married to Mag. Brien from Staplestown Road. Tom was
known as 'Hallie' to distinguish him from 'Yellow' Tom. Mag's
brother John O'Brien married May Geoghegan from No. 5. Their
children Annie and Johnny are 'down under' in Australia, Tom is
married in Graigue to Mary Dowling and Jim is also in Graigue
married to M. Grant.
No. 10: Across the road was Kate and Dick
Begley, Dick was retired from the British Army and came from
Graigue. They had two sons, Jack, known as 'Scaldy', married Kitty
Bressly from Muinebeag, Paddy 'Bellows' married Kitty Darcy from
No. 11: Matty Hayden from Bridewell Lane
married Bridget Meaney from The Lock, Graiguecullen. They had four
children. Kitty married to Chris Townsend a custodian with the great
O'Hanrahan teams. Michael, Florie married Mick O'Hara, Staplestown
Road. John married Mary Kate Greney. Matty was also retired from the
There is a story told that when Matty was on
shifts in the factory, John, who brought up his fathers lunch was no
sooner there than Matty swopped his overalls for the lunch and went
home, leaving John to finish the shift.
No. 12: Nellie and Tom Williamson were next and
they had 5 children. Tom was another of the streets ex-British Army
men. Their children are, Christy, married Chrissie Gorman; Kit
married Cheetay Nolan; Nell married John Geoghegan and lived in
J.K.L., Jenny married Jim Murray, Tom (Jun.) is in England.
No. 13: In this house lived John ('Rat')
Corcoran and Mary (Pol) Ryan, Greenlane. John, an ex-British Army
man, worked in the Sugar Factory. Their children, Nan married Leo
Stevenson and lives in England, Mary married John Lancton from Athy,
Ted is married and living in England.
No. 14: Living next was the great footballer
who played with the famous O'Hannrahan teams of the 30's, Johnny
'Cheetah’ Nolan, noted for his speed and dashing runs down the
'Cheetah' and Kitty (Williamson) had children
Lil and Nell who were twins, Francis and Johnny, who are all in
No. 15: Was the home of Michael Kehoe and Moll
Shaw. Their children: Ned lives in St. Marys Park, Michael, May
married Frank Power, custodian to the Eire Og teams of the 60's and
lives in St. Patricks Avenue; Paddy lives with his aunt Nan Shaw,
Tom married Margaret Shortall and lives in Hanover, Jim is married
to M. Coffey and lives in J.K.L. Avenue.
- Valentine Message
- Composed in 1981 by Nan Shaw at 80 years.
- To the Senior Citizens
- To all the senior citizens I send
- I am not good at poetry and can't
get my words to rhyme
- But if I'd go back in my memory
when life was one springtime
- Remember the country roads, the
lovely lanes, the green fields all wet with dew,
- The lilac trees, the sweet woodbine
and the hawthorn blossom too.
- The lovely banks of primroses, blue
bells and violets blue
- But alas they are no more those
sweet memories we knew
- The poor children of today won't
have memories such as these
- They've nothing but motor highways
and roads of monstrosities
- The wars, the fears, the parting
all wrapped in between
- Forget about the grey days or what
might have been
- And when you're sitting by yourself
and you think you are all alone
- Remember God is there beside you,
to take you safely home
- And when the trees have shed their
leaves as we did of past yore
- Scatter them with glee
- So now my dears O Valentines
- To you with love from me.
No. 16: Decker Dwyer the great concertina
player lived here. He worked in the Mills and came from Graigue. His
sisters Winnie worked in the Boot Factory, Lizzy married N. Farrell
and moved to Dublin, Poll married Jack Trodden and lived in the
first house in Brewery Lane.
No. 17: 'Itchy' Steven Murphy, a baker by trade
in Don McDonnels whose son 'Mousy' Joe had a fantastic ability to
stay submerged under the water, sometimes for five minutes or more
and worked in McNallys Chemist in Dublin St.
No. 18: Gee Gaw Nolan, whose wife was a fortune
teller, had a continuous stream of callers looking to know what the
future held, had Katie, who married Dick Begley from the Brewery,
Bridy, and Jimmy married Poll Whelan from The Numbers.
- In front of the Altar 1932 — Brewery Lane
- LH SIDE: Flory Hayden, Nan Fitzgerald, Mrs. Hayden, Moll
Kehoe with baby Mamie, Mickey Kehoe with baby Neddy. 3 children
- RH SIDE: Mrs. Mary Hogan, Mrs. Carey, Molly and Paddy
Tobin. 4 children not identified.
- Photo courtesy of Mrs. Power.
Memories of the past
With the posting of the streets of Carlow and who was living
there, my mother-in-law, Lil (Elizabeth) Nolan Wells found her old home on
No. 14 Brewery Lane, and has started to remember some of the stuff she used
to do when she was growing up. The picture of the kids of Bridewell Lane has
many of her relatives (Geoghegan's and Williamson's).
She remembers, walking barefoot along the stone walls near
the river Walking home from school with her friends they would dance
on the corners. She said that everyone on the lane played music. They would
have a grand old time singing, playing, and dancing. There was only one
radio on the lane and people would bring their chairs and set them up
outside near the door so that they could listen. Her mum during the time
before Christmas would go to Frank Slater's to pluck chickens and turkeys to
get some spending money for the holiday. She was a sickly child and would
get sent to her relatives (the Nolan's) in the country to recover.